Last month 14 projects entered planning with a value of $100 million or more.
The Dodge Momentum Index, a monthly measure of nonresidential building projects in planning, hit the highest levels seen in three years in February, thanks to a surge in large projects starting up.
The index rose 7.1% in February to 149.0, up from a revised January reading of 139.1. Overall, the index is up 9.2% year-over-year. The institutional component of the index leapt up 26.3% over the month (down 3.3% year-over-year), while the commercial component remained stagnant (up 15.2% over last year).
“It remains to be seen if this level of activity, especially in the institutional sector, is sustainable given the tenuous economic recovery and rising material prices,” the company said in a statement.
Dodge analysts note that institutional planning last month was mostly clustered in large hospitals and labs, whereas commercial planning projects mostly consisted of data centers, warehouses, and office projects.
In February, 14 projects entered planning with a value of $100 million or more, including the $230 million University of Iowa Hospital and the $190 million Ultra Labs Life Sciences building in Philadelphia. Data centers in Catlett, Va., led the commercial project roster, with each facility valued at $135 million.